© Maison des Canuts
Out and about My weekend à la lyonnaise
A Summer in the Croix-Rousse
With its silk-making history, great places to eat and village atmosphere, the plateau of Croix-Rousse hill is a place to be experienced.
Following the thread of history
Begin your day with one of the major attractions of the ‘colline qui travaille’ (the ‘hill that works’, in reference to its key historical role in Lyon’s silk industry): the Maison des Canuts. The guided tour immerses visitors in the fascinating history of Lyon’s silk industry and the ‘Canuts’, as the silk workers were known. It includes a weaving demonstration on an authentic nineteenth-century Jacquard hand loom. You can also visit the shop, where you will find silk scarves, ties and bow ties made exclusively in the region.
Prepare your picnic
With your picnic basket in hand, make your way to Croix-Rousse market, where you can pick up some palatable provisions. Running along the boulevard, this attractive market is full of fine seasonal fruit and veg, fresh fish, cheese and local specialities. Once your basket is full, head to Parc de la Cerisaie, just a few minutes’ walk away.
A spot of food and culture
Lay out your picnic on the grass, in the shade of the tall trees, and enjoy this green setting that is much loved by the residents of the Croix-Rousse. In the middle of the park stands a large mansion inspired by the architecture of Tuscany – the Villa Gillet. Formerly owned by a family of silk dyers, it is today an important cultural venue for gatherings and creativity, dedicated to thought, literature and contemporary languages. Events, readings, workshops, debates and performances are held here throughout the year. It is an ideal spot to read a book.
Art à ciel ouvert
The next stop on your exploration of Croix-Rousse is the Mur des Canuts. Here, you can get lost in the many details of this incredible mural, painted in 1987, which is the largest in Europe. This is followed by the statue ‘Le Chant des Canuts’ on Place des Tapis. It depicts two lovers singing the famous song of the same name, written by Aristide Bruant. Turn around to discover the mural by the collective Le Mur69, which is regularly added to by Lyon’s street artists. Next, make your way to the ‘Gros Caillou’ (literally ‘big stone’), a glacier rock from the Alps. This spot offers a stunning view over the east of Lyon, and is an excellent opportunity to take a few photos!Boulevard des Canuts,
Get a taste of French comedy
End the day with a few drinks and laughs, at Le Rideau Rouge, the only ‘café-théâtre’ in the Croix-Rousse, just a few minutes from the Gros Caillou. Comical situations, puns and giggles are guaranteed, with entertainment such as an adaptation of the cult French play by Muriel Robin and Pierre Palmade – Ils s’aiment (They love each other) – which will be performed throughout the summer on Saturdays at 6 pm.
Dinner on the terrace
There’s nothing like laughter to work up an appetite. And you’re in luck, because the bistro Chez Lucien is just around the corner, on Rue Belfort.
The chef, Benjamin Nieto, a graduate of the Institut Paul Bocuse, serves up fresh, down-to-earth cuisine, with dishes such as grilled bream in shellfish and piquillo pepper jus, trout gravlax, baba in Mandarine Napoléon liqueur (a blend of mandarins and cognac), blood orange cream and yuzu gel, and molten chocolate cake with Espelette pepper, all served in a laid-back atmosphere. You will also find an excellent selection of wines, as well as a beautifully decorated patio.